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Duterte orders PhilHealth to pursue criminal action on alleged irregularities

June 07, 2019 - Friday 4:06 PM by Jon Joaquin

Article Banner Image Photo by Toto Lozano//Presidential Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the management of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to institute criminal actions against officials and employees behind alleged irregularities.

In a statement issued on Friday, Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the President has also instructed PhilHealth acting president Dr. Roy Ferrer to submit a detailed report on the alleged irregularities.

This after the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Thursday reported a fraudulent claims scheme allegedly practiced by WellMed Dialysis Center in Quezon City.

The report said the dialysis center allegedly files "ghost" claims to PhilHealth, citing former employee Edwin Roberto.

The report said as a result, PhilHealth continues to make payments for dialysis treatments to health providers even though some of the patients have long been dead.

Panelo noted that PhilHealth has already initiated several actions on the matter. "It filed several administrative complaints against those involved in the fraud,” he said.

"We will put a stop to this corruption and we will make sure that the law on universal health care is strictly enforced,” he added.

"The Duterte Administration is steadfast in its goal to eliminate corruption in all levels of the bureaucracy. All persons involved in the alleged fraud will be prosecuted and face accountability. They shall reap the harshest penalty imposed by law. Nothing can shield them from prosecution and punishment,” Panelo said.